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Drive In, Reach Out


In the 1950s, there were almost 5,000 drive-in movie theaters in the U.S. Only about 400 remain today, but their charm is not forgotten. One Texas church is using popcorn and parking spaces to create its own drive-in theater. It’s a blockbuster of an idea that is rating well with families as they spend time together under the stars. Reed Galin reports.


(Locator: Boerne, TX)

At 15 minutes after dark, the First United Methodist Church of Boerne (pronounced “Berny”), Texas will step back into a bygone era when families spent more time together.

They walk…they pedal…they drive…they sit.

Man unfolding chair: “Preparation is important.”

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it’s “drive-in movie night”… right here in the church parking lot.

Little girl: “It’s just fun to hang out here with your friends and watch a movie.”

Jana Sprayberry/Dir. of Children’s Ministries, First United Methodist Church:  “Everything is free because it’s all about fellowship. Here’s your popcorn.”

The film is projected onto the side of the church so it’s all about location, location, location.

Man: “We were thinking, we get here early and sit up on the truck, get a good angle on it and make sure we catch the show.”

Boy: “We brought blankets, books, pillows just so we wouldn’t be uncomfortable sitting in chairs. This way we could kinda’ stretch out and relax.”

Because licensing laws keep First United Methodist from being able to advertise the movie title, it’s always a mystery…but that doesn’t seem to matter.

Russell Miller/Minister of Music and Worship:  “We have little children, we have teenagers, we have adults and grandparents all together enjoying something as a group, as a family. There are people from our neighborhood here, there are some families I don’t recognize.”

Jana Sprayberry/Dir. of Children’s Ministries, First United Methodist Church:  “Being outside, and able to talk to one another, sharing a little food and a little laughter. That’s what it’s all about.”


First United Methodist’s movie nights are about to end for the season but if you want more information about their program, call 830-249-2565 or go to:

And here’s some more drive-in trivia for you, there was a theater in New York that covered 28 acres and had parking spaces for 2500 cars. It also had a heated and cooled indoor seating area, a playground, cafeteria and regular restaurant. A shuttle took customers from their cars to the various areas.

Stats say there are about 400 drive-ins operating in the U.S. now. The first drive-in was invented by Richard Hollingshead who hung a sheet in his backyard and put a projector on the hood of his car.

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